Leave it to the Hartford Wolf Pack to find a new and exciting way to suffer a demoralizing loss after a big win. On Wednesday night it was an overtime goal with just 1.7 seconds remaining that gave the Manitoba Moose a 3-2 overtime win over the Wolf Pack at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg.
After carrying a shutout through the first 45:45 of play, Miika Wiikman earned the overtime loss in the truest sense of the word when Nolan Baumgartner rushed the puck down the right wing boards as the final seconds ticked off the clock. Pack forward Mike Ouellette forced Baumgartner wide, but the veteran defenseman cut in towards the net and whiffed on a shot, nudging the puck softly towards the Hartford goal from the bottom of the right circle. Wiikman was fooled by the change-up, dropping to his knees helplessly as the puck trickled under him and into the net.
The two teams played an even first period, maintaining a scoreless tie while matching each other in shots with 10 apiece. In the second of back-to-back games, the Moose were a more engaged team, playing a more physical game and winning more battles along the boards than they did the previous night. They also got much improved goaltending from starter Cory Schneider, who stopped 33 of 35 pucks fired his way after combining with Karl Goehring the night before to stop just 15 of 21 Hartford shots.
Still, it was the Wolf Pack that stuck first, scoring at 13:46 of the second period. The line of Tommy Pyatt, Ouellette and Jordan Owens continued its strong play, earning Ouellette his sixth goal of the season and fourth in five games when he took Owens’ feed from the right corner and beat Schneider on the stick side. The Pack outshot the Moose 10-4 in the period, but took only a 1-0 lead into the final twenty.
Former Ranger Jason Krog knotted the score at 5:45 of the third period when 21-year veteran and 3-time Stanley Cup champion Mike Keane picked up a turnover in the neutral zone and fed Zack FitzGerald. Krog deflected the defenseman’s shot beautifully past Wiikman on the glove side to earn his ninth of the season.
The Pack re-took the lead 3:17 later when Manitoba native Brodie Dupont, who had a gaggle of family and friends supporting him in the crowd, one-timed a cross-ice pass from P.A. Parenteau past Schneider from the bottom of the right circle. It was Dupont’s eight goal of the season and came on the second half of a double minor called on FitzGerald when he argued a tripping call with referee David Banfield.
Manitoba tied the game back up just 29 seconds later when Danish forward Jannik Hansen caught Jared Nightingale and Brian Fahey flat-footed, splitting the Hartford defense pairing to skate in on Wiikman, beating the netminder on the stick side.
The teams kept each other at bay through the final half of the period. While the Pack held an 11-6 shot advantage, Wiikman was forced to come up with a huge point-blank save in the final seconds of regulation time to earn the Pack a point.
But it was his gaffe at 4:58 of the extra session that prevented them from getting another shot at two.
Highlights from the game are available from the Manitoba Moose web site.
- Proving that being a highly-touted prospect outweighs a player’s on-ice performance, defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti and his -13 became the lone Hartford representative for the 2009 AHL All Star Game when he was named to the PlanetUSA All Star Team on Wednesday.
- As suspected, Brandon Sugden did in fact suffer a lower body injury of some sort late in Tuesday’s game, and was replaced by Matt Stefanishion in the line up.
- With his assist, Parenteau took sole posession of the team lead in points, breaking a tie with Artem Anisimov, who saw his 7-game point scoring streak come to an end.
- The Wolf Pack outshot the Moose by a 35-22 margin. Once again the Pack penalty kill was perfect, killing off six Manitoba power plays. They converted on one of four man advantages of their own.
2. Ouellette (6) (Owens, Pyatt) 13:46
3. Krog (9) (FitzGerald, Keane) 5:45
3. Dupont (8) (Parenteau) 9:02 (PP)
3. Hansen (1) (Desbiens, Ramsey) 9:31
OT. Baumgartner (4) (Fistric, Desbiens) 4:58
Dupont – Anisimov – Parenteau
Pyatt – Ouellette – Owens
Rissmiller – Moore – Weise
DiDiomete – Stefanishion – Soryal
Potter – Sanguinetti
Nightingale – Fahey
Urquhart – Sauer
Wiikman / Zaba
1. Jannik Hansen
2. Brodie Dupont
3. Cory Schneider
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